Perfume Resolutions Past and Future

Early last year, Pat and Elisa set down some perfume resolutions for 2014, with the intention of revisiting in early 2015 to see how they did. In this post, our writers share their resolutions and progress.

Elisa’s Resolutions

If you really love something and there’s nothing else like it, buy it, even if it’s expensive.

I get partial credit for this one; one of my first purchases last year was a small amount of Mona di Orio Musc, which I truly love. However, I’m not wearing it enough; perhaps I should reward myself with a full bottle if I’m able to finish the mini!

Otherwise, I made few full bottle purchases this year, but I did manage to get several scents that have been on my wishlist for a very long time as birthday and Christmas gifts.


Give more perfume away! I have so many full bottles I’ll never get through.

Again, partial credit; I mailed away plenty of decants and also gave away a few full bottles that weren’t getting much wear. But I want to share even more in 2015, especially with locals so I don’t have to deal with the post office.

Don’t sample/decant hoard! When I have a small amount of something, I’m reluctant to wear it, but this year I hope to throw out a lot of empty vials.

I did well on this final resolution. I’ve been wearing samples in the mornings (and often sharing my choices in the Now Smell This daily threads), then wearing my tried-and-true loves in the evening. I also finished a number of decants this year, and felt a sense of accomplishment every time I threw a 5 ml glass vial into the recycling bin. Unlike Pat, I haven’t finished any bottles, but I’m in the home stretch with a few 30 ml bottles; maybe this year!

Pat’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions don’t usually work for me, but looking through my 2014 perfume resolutions, I found that I actually kept more than I broke, starting with my first resolution to:

Use it, don’t lose it. Samples and decants can evaporate or turn at the blink of an eye. I hope to have empty vials to toss each month.

Starting on January 1, 2014 I tossed all of my used samples and decants into a pretty tin box that once held macarons and was pleased to count 46 of the little glass bottles at the end of the year. Granted, a few were samples that had dried up, but most were actually used. The primary way I used them was by creating lovely perfumed lotion through the combination of perfume with my favorite unscented brand of body lotion and wearing it to bed. I had many sweetly scented dreams in 2014.

Less encouraging were the purchases that the use of said samples brought about. The very first sample to hit the tin box (Caron Parfum Sacré EDP) was immediately followed by a full bottle purchase, and I worried that a trend was underway. However, things slowed down and I bought only two additional full bottles based on used samples (Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel and Parfums DelRae Wit) and four large decants of 8-10 ml. (Frédéric Malle En Passant, Diptyque Vetyverio, Heeley Sel Marin, and Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt).

Perhaps my greatest perfume achievement in 2014 was reaching the bottom of my 4 oz. bottle of Ralph Lauren’s Lauren, which I had been working on since the early nineties when it was my signature scent. The bottle is so pretty that I hate to throw it out. Maybe, I’ll just keep it as proof that using up a bottle can be done, even if it takes twenty years!

The same goes for discontinued loves. I have half a bottle of Guerlain Iris Ganache that I’ve been hoarding for years, and I plan on making a significant dent in the level this year. Precious vintage fumes will also be worn as if I had an unlimited supply. Why should my Caron Nuit de Noël be worn only one night a year?

I did wear Iris Ganache a few times this year, but Nuit de Noël remained my Christmas Eve scent, period. What can I say in defense? I have a lot of perfume and need to cull the herd in order to be able to even find my favorites.

Share more perfume with friends and family and try to widen the circle by getting more people interested in perfume.

I was more successful with this resolution. I love to swap with friends and also like to gift perfume from my stash. I have one close friend who has become more interested in perfume this year, and I gave her the L’Artisan sample set as a gift over the holidays.

ombre rose

Be more adventuresome with perfume and explore brands that I’m currently not familiar with. 

I’ve sampled from a few houses that I wasn’t familiar with, including: Papillon Angelique, Anubis, and Tobacco RoseStephen Jones Wisteria Hysteria, and Masque Milano Russian Tea. Fortunately none resulted in a buy, though I was tempted by Wisteria Hysteria for the name if nothing else!

Try perfume notes that I don’t like except in very small doses. (Vetiver, I’m looking at you!)

I gave vetiver a good shot this year, trying Frédéric Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire, Annick Goutal Vétiver, and Hermès Vétiver Tonka among others. I bought an 8 ml. decant of Diptyque Vetyverio (see #1 above) and have even been known to wear it on occasion.

My New Year’s resolutions for 2015? First of all, to set a perfume budget and stick to it! (Could be easier said than done.) Second, to put the perfume collection on a diet, or at least follow the one-in, one-out method of perfume family planning.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Did you make any perfume-related resolutions this year?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin




  • Karen: What great ideas and resolutions! Thank you both so much for sharing these and inspiring me to use up some of my samples, I love both using one in the morning or wearing to bed. Coming up with a budget – and more importantly sticking with it(!!) seems to be a goal worth trying.

    Thanks again! January 15, 2015 at 7:45am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Karen! January 15, 2015 at 8:47am Reply

    • Patricia: Glad you liked them, Karen! January 15, 2015 at 9:27am Reply

    • Victoria E: Nicely said and I also will use my samples now in a different way……..even blending them. Happiness to all in 2015. January 22, 2015 at 1:08pm Reply

  • Michaela: I like this article very much. Especially ‘Use it, don’t lose it’ and ‘One in, one out’. May I steal your ideas and use them for myself? 🙂

    I know rules are there to be broken, but this is what I think I want to do this year:
    – no blind buys;
    – finish samples;
    – if I feel like buying a bottle, buy the smallest one (as opposed to my rule until now, I was used to buying the biggest bottle when I really liked something, no matter it’s always easy to find). January 15, 2015 at 7:47am Reply

    • Elisa: Those are great resolutions. I have gotten much better about not doing blind buys; when I first got into perfume I did it all the time. I found some favorites that way, but some duds too! January 15, 2015 at 8:48am Reply

    • Patricia: If I can buy a travel size, I do. At this point I have so much perfume that draining a bottle is a near impossibility. January 15, 2015 at 9:30am Reply

      • Tijana: So true – I forgot to add this to mine, but I am also on the “smallest bottle” mission 😉 January 15, 2015 at 9:31am Reply

      • Hannah: It took me a really long time to get through my 30ml bottle of Black Cashmere. Actually, I’m not finished with it. Maybe my fingers are really weak so my sprays are smaller but it takes me a really long time to get through perfume. My collection is small but 50ml seems huge to me. January 15, 2015 at 12:22pm Reply

        • Elisa: It’s the 100 ml bottles that really kill me. Though I’m glad I have them if they’re discontinued. January 15, 2015 at 12:31pm Reply

    • Tijana: Michaela – I love your resolutions!!!!! January 15, 2015 at 9:30am Reply

      • Michaela: Thank you! 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 9:44am Reply

  • Therése: Great resolutions! And great results, too.

    I will abide by the “If you really love it, buy it, even if it’s expensive” rule. Some of my best buys in life, wether it’s been clothes or perfume or accessories, have been expensive. But so well loved 🙂

    And also use it, don’t lose it. I use some of the decants that I enjoy but really don’t feel like wearing on my skin, as laundry scents. I just put some perfume in the rinse tray of my washing machine when I wash bedlinen and they some out smelling terrific. January 15, 2015 at 8:47am Reply

    • Elisa: Ooh, I’m going to try that laundry trick! January 15, 2015 at 9:06am Reply

      • Patricia: Me, too! That’s a great way to use up unloved decants. January 15, 2015 at 9:13am Reply

    • Michaela: I love the laundry trick! January 15, 2015 at 9:33am Reply

      • Therése: Elisa, Patricia, Michaela,

        I’m glad you like the laundry trick! It’s kinda nifty 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 10:54am Reply

    • Joy: I make my own dryer sheets by using unscented dryer sheets or just paper towels sprayed with fragrance that I want to use up. Then toss in the dryer. The warm air scents the house and my clothes.
      Joy January 15, 2015 at 7:30pm Reply

      • Cynthia Neal: We have three small rescue dogs sharing our pillows so ~ The paper towel/ perfume spray idea is perfect for our bed linens. Many thanks January 15, 2015 at 11:54pm Reply

      • angeldiva: Genius!!! January 19, 2015 at 7:41pm Reply

  • limegreen: I love the resolutions and ideas from both of you! The ones on your lists that I started to do last year was to give away perfume (full bottles, decants, samples), and to interest some friends here in perfume, in some cases both overlapped. If mailing full bottles had not become such a task at the post office, I would like to do more BdJ giveaways.
    I also decided to sample or sniff only those that were available or “given”, either from store testers, gifts/samples with purchase (like with a skincare product), or samples from a fragrance friend. I decided to save the money I had been spending on sample purchases and have it go toward a full bottle of something I want.
    (And since I likely won’t be going to London or Paris this year, likely won’t be splurging on full bottles the way I did last year!) January 15, 2015 at 9:12am Reply

    • Patricia: I like the way you think, limegreen! If I had the amount I’ve spent in testers over the years, I shudder to think how many bottles of perfume I could have bought. January 15, 2015 at 9:19am Reply

    • Elisa: I rarely buy samples anymore — only when I really desperately want to try something and can’t beg it off a friend and don’t want to blind buy. 🙂 Surrender to Chance is my go-to for that since I can order sizable spray samples and get a better sense of how I feel about it. January 15, 2015 at 9:21am Reply

    • Michaela: Limegreen, Patricia and Elisa, now I’m confused. I thought buying samples is best to test and even economical in the long run. January 15, 2015 at 9:37am Reply

      • Patricia: Yes, but even better if you can get the samples cost free from department stores, free samples with purchase, or swapping with friends. January 15, 2015 at 9:41am Reply

        • Michaela: Oh, I see. You’re right. January 15, 2015 at 9:46am Reply

        • limegreen: Sometimes I just smell and/or spray from the store testers, don’t even need a sample. Of course I’m lucky enough to be able to do so in person for a lot of fragrances. January 15, 2015 at 1:12pm Reply

        • limegreen: For the ones my friends here do not want, I’m also going to again try the “leave a perfume in the restroom at work” method. 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 1:26pm Reply

          • Elisa: I wish I could do this but I work from home! January 15, 2015 at 1:27pm Reply

          • Michaela: I remember your story, this was a bright nice idea 🙂 January 16, 2015 at 3:52am Reply

          • Joy: There is a basket for cosmetics and such at my YMCA where I can leave things. Good idea for those store samples that I know I won’t wear. January 16, 2015 at 10:47am Reply

  • Brenda: Good morning… A little trick I use along the frugal lines…if I have purchased a scent and been sorry after…it becomes a room or car spray. Also, I will keep it near where I wrap gifts and spray the packing tissue. It never goes to waste …I just avoid putting only skin! January 15, 2015 at 9:17am Reply

    • Patricia: Gift packing tissue…now that’s a clever idea! January 15, 2015 at 9:21am Reply

    • Elisa: The packing tissue trick is a nice one! January 15, 2015 at 9:23am Reply

    • Michaela: Very good ideas, thank you! January 15, 2015 at 9:30am Reply

    • hajusuuri: I suggest only using on white packing tissue as any other color will likely transfer to the items in the package and also possibly stain skin and clothing. January 16, 2015 at 1:58pm Reply

      • Susan Minnicks: Hermes uses plain white tissue (: January 16, 2015 at 8:27pm Reply

  • Tijana: Great article, thank you for ideas for some great resolutions!

    I don’t recall making any last year, but this year, mine are similar to what others already mentioned:

    1) No blind buys (but blind swaps are ok as long as I research the fragrance first and I really don’t like the perfume I am about to give up). I spent so much money on blind buys and they often didn’t work out 🙁

    2) Acquire only fragrances that last and that I thoroughly tested – I bought so many that I love scent-wise, but do not last more than an hour or so on me. I just can’t justify this anymore especially if they are expensive.

    3) Start sniffing dept. store fragrances again – for a while I got carried away with niche or HE brands / lines and missed some really good “regular” brands and fragrances. I started getting back to testing and buying these at the end of last year and I hope to continue.

    4) Swap more (ideally swap out all my remaining swappable bottles :-))

    5) Give away more

    6) Use up samples for my evening/at-home perfume (for the most part been good about this :-)) – give away freely ones I don’t like

    🙂 January 15, 2015 at 9:30am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m actually trying to nix the blind swaps too — I’ve done a few of those and just ended up needing to swap the new bottle again! I’m more open to blind if it’s just a decant, though. January 15, 2015 at 9:34am Reply

      • Tijana: Yeah – blind swaps are iffy, I must admit. I must really not like what I have and the other fragrance must really look appealing by notes and have some great reviews by people who share similar tastes. But I agree with you – these are also high-risk so I will have to be really careful. January 15, 2015 at 9:37am Reply

        • Elisa: Yes, they can be extremely tempting! January 15, 2015 at 9:45am Reply

    • Tijana: OK, I need to add Michaela’s “smalles bottle” rule to my resolutions – she is so right!

      And also the “use it, don’t lose it” recommendation. My friend actually does this too 🙂

      And finally, I remembered the most important one – to use up partial bottles or decants first before – I have tons of these and some have been sitting a while, because every time I get a new bottle, I crack it open and tend to “forget” about others… So I really, really need to use up the partials first (or give them away if I have fallen out of love). January 15, 2015 at 9:35am Reply

      • Elisa: There have been a few times that I caved and bought a bottle before I finished the decant — but then I just use the decant for travel. I also keep the decant and refill it from the bottle 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 9:44am Reply

        • Patricia: I do that, too, Elisa! January 15, 2015 at 9:46am Reply

        • Tijana: Yeah that’s a great idea. I just chuck them into a box and forget them! 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 9:19pm Reply

        • Cath: I do the exact same thing 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 10:46pm Reply

    • Patricia: I like #2, Tijana. As much as I enjoyed my samples of Bel Respiro and 28 La Pausa, they didn’t last long enough to justify a full bottle. January 15, 2015 at 9:45am Reply

      • Tijana: I know, Patricia! This is why I also gave up those exact two as much as I love them (I adore la pausa!!!). Just really poor longevity… 🙁 January 15, 2015 at 9:21pm Reply

  • Aisha: I’m glad I’m not the only one who still has/had a 4 oz. bottle of Lauren from the nineties. LOL! It was my “signature” through most of college, followed by Safari right after college (I also still have that 4 oz. bottle, by the way). I wore Lauren a couple of times in 2014 and it still smelled beautiful. I can’t bring myself to using up the last of it though because it means I’ll have to toss the bottle, and I love that bottle. 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 9:35am Reply

    • Patricia: I did toss the bottle, Aisha, though I have a 2 oz. backup from the same era still in its box. I also have the small lay down version which is about half gone.

      It was a great fragrance…a shame what they did to it. January 15, 2015 at 9:49am Reply

      • Aisha: The bottle I have is the second large one I purchased. I also used to have one of the smaller ones that lays on its side. Threw that away a long time ago when I used it all up. I still have a miniature bottle that came with some body lotion and shower gel. I’ll probably keep that and throw the large one when it’s all gone.

        Yes, it’s a shame how it’s changed — and not for the better, when compared with the original. Oh well. The good news is that I’m finding other fragrances that make me as happy as the old Lauren once did. 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 11:33am Reply

        • Patricia: Yes, my taste in fragrance has changed quite a lot since I wore Lauren on a regular basis! January 15, 2015 at 11:47am Reply

  • spe: To put my new years’ resolution in context: I enjoy variety in almost every facet of life and get annoyed and depressed with monotony. With that as my justification, I resolve to try to get in touch with how my various scents make me feel. This is difficult for me, as I’m quite analytical. The fragrances that have that immediate and inexplicable “I love this” will be worn. Those that don’t will be donated to the church’s rummage sale. January 15, 2015 at 10:17am Reply

    • Elisa: I like your resolution, instead of practicality you are focusing on enjoyment! January 15, 2015 at 10:46am Reply

      • spe: Hi Elisa – yes and hopefully others enjoy my donations! I feel great passing nice things on for others to use once those items have served their purpose in my life. January 16, 2015 at 10:05am Reply

  • the other Michaela: I want to

    1. Finish at least 5 partial FB I trurly enjoy but would never buy again
    2. Get rid of all those useless samples I actualy NEVER use…
    3. Buy only 2 new FB, biggest size.

    In 2014 I gifted, gave away and sold many perfumes and I got to a just under 30 bottles wardrobe (samples and decants not included. But I don’t wear them anyway, do it doesn’t really matter). My 2015 project is to get to 20 bottles only. The truth is I wanna go back to that golden time when owning 3 to 5 bottles equalled the epitome of being a parfumista. January 15, 2015 at 10:30am Reply

    • Elisa: That would be truly impressive. I’d be anxious about cutting back to just 30. January 15, 2015 at 11:09am Reply

    • Patricia: I don’t think I could get down to 3 fragrances either, but I admire you for doing so! January 15, 2015 at 11:56am Reply

      • Patricia: Make that 30! January 15, 2015 at 1:01pm Reply

        • Michaela: 🙂 January 16, 2015 at 5:08am Reply

      • Tijana: This has been my desire for a long time, too. But only desire, not really resolution as I find it impossible to act on it! What I actually want is 5 staples (as in I always have a bottle) and 10 “rotators” (as in new loves, may use up just one bottle but i like it) at any time, but instead, I have 20 staples, 20 rotators and 20 “I really need to give this away” 🙁 January 15, 2015 at 9:28pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Great post and congratulations on your perfume resolutions. I did succeed in that
    I bought much less perfume this year than I did last year. I decided I wouldn’t buy a new bottle unless I was completely finished with another. I succeeded for the most part but there was a lapse or two.
    Happy New Year! January 15, 2015 at 10:39am Reply

    • Elisa: I buy less every year. Thank god as I’m running out of space. January 15, 2015 at 10:45am Reply

    • Tijana: I actually should do make this a resolution too. No new bottle unless one is used up! January 15, 2015 at 9:31pm Reply

  • Theresa: Well, I am going to buck the trend, and say that on occasion I like to buy the biggest bottle – but that is because i only buy FBs rarely and after much deliberation and anticipation and excited comparisons of “shall I buy this or shall I buy that”. When I have a truly big bottle of something then I feel I can spray with abandon, since I have plenty. Whereas I horde the precious scent in my mini’s or small bottles. January 15, 2015 at 11:08am Reply

    • Elisa: I have the same tendency — the amount I have definitely affects how much I spray! January 15, 2015 at 11:09am Reply

    • Patricia: I’m also more generous gifting samples if I have a big bottle. January 15, 2015 at 11:53am Reply

      • Elisa: Me too! January 15, 2015 at 11:56am Reply

        • The Blue Squid: Erm, I am quite late to add my two cents, but I’ll do a shout out to the big bottles too. If I really like something, and it’s not super strong, like Philosykos, or no 18, I can easily get through 75-100 mls in a year. I really want a giant 200ml no. 18. I can see it now in my mind’s eye, towering grandly over all.. January 21, 2015 at 7:58am Reply

  • Susan Minnicks: I’m inspired, thank you all. My husband passed away in October and I know i need to change things up and be kind to myself. So I’ll use (or “lose”) all those samples, and start using fragrance everyday. For a while I wasn’t at all.
    PS A dear friend, who’s 75, has her beloved (but empty) bottle of Lauren in her guest room

    PPS At Hermes they spray the package wrapping tissue paper with Jour…and are generous with samples. January 15, 2015 at 11:09am Reply

    • Elisa: They did that the last time I made a purchase at L’Occitane, too. Very nice! January 15, 2015 at 11:10am Reply

    • Patricia: I’m so sorry about your husband and am glad that you are taking good care of yourself. Perfume can be a comfort. January 15, 2015 at 11:51am Reply

    • angeldiva: Susan,
      I’m so very sorry for your loss. Prayers ascending.
      Peace be With You January 19, 2015 at 7:51pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Elisa, Patricia, wise words! But no, not for me. When it comes to perfumes, I am a fool. And I love it! January 15, 2015 at 11:11am Reply

  • Hannah: I hoped to get rid of some samples in 2014 and I did get rid of a huge amount. And by getting rid of some of my samples, I was able to use my bottles more, which I also wanted to do.

    This year, I’m thinking about the first resolution:
    “If you really love something and there’s nothing else like it, buy it, even if it’s expensive.”
    But what I’m considering the most is an Amouage and I’m very underemployed so it’s not that simple. January 15, 2015 at 11:26am Reply

    • Sandra: Which amouage? I own a FB of ciel January 15, 2015 at 11:28am Reply

    • Elisa: At least Amouage doesn’t tend to discontinue stuff very often, unless I’m mistaken. So you can keep an eye on it and maybe find some kind of deal. January 15, 2015 at 11:28am Reply

  • Sandra: Elisa-
    I got my sample of Mora Di Orio musc (spelling may be off) as your recommended it as a good mommy scent in recommend me a perfume. I do love it- it wears close to the skin. Not sure if it’s FB worthy.
    My resolution is no blind buys and to test test samples first.
    Last year I gave away locally some bottles that found a better home – and now I feel better January 15, 2015 at 11:32am Reply

    • Elisa: Oh, I’m glad you liked it! It is VERY expensive so I understand the hesitation. January 15, 2015 at 11:33am Reply

  • Jodee: I love New Year’s Resolutions! As I said in an earlier post, I am new to the scent world (6 months in) and totally obsessed! I am keeping a typed list of all the perfumes that sound delightful and interesting to try. My plan is that at the end of each month I will allow myself to purchase a set dollar amount of samples and or decants that are unavailable in my local shops to try for free. Then, at the end of the year, whichever I have loved the most I plan to buy in FB form. I will try to keep it at 1-2 FB max. 🙂 We’ll see how this goes as it is only January 15 and I already have way too many interesting options (the list is at 42 today– how will I ever narrow it down to a handful a month???).

    BTW, love the idea of using up samples in the laundry and while gift wrapping! Brilliant! January 15, 2015 at 1:01pm Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Jodee, It seems as if you have an excellent plan to hold your spending down. But I personally would have a really hard time waiting until the end of the year to make my purchases! January 15, 2015 at 1:04pm Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, very disciplined! It’s a good approach because your tastes and priorities will change as you try more things. January 15, 2015 at 1:28pm Reply

  • Jodee: So true Elisa and Patricia! I learned the hard way in September by purchasing a FB of by Killian’s Sweet Redemption on the spot after trying a sample. I still love the fragrance, but after sampling more options I realized that there are equally nice scents with orange blossom and vanilla — MDCI Nuits Andalouse is lovely, Guerlain’s Tiare Mimosa is sunny and fun and Annick Goutal’s Neroli is bright and balanced. I feel like I need to do lots of sampling before committing to the full thing. And there are just so many to sample! But let’s see if I can resist FB when I find a true love. January 15, 2015 at 2:25pm Reply

    • Elisa: If it makes you feel better, I’ve tried lots and lots of OB’s and I still think Sweet Redemption is one of the best!! Have you tried Songes? Jasmine, not orange blossom, but similar effects. January 15, 2015 at 2:26pm Reply

      • Jodee: Oh that’s good to know and does make me feel better! I have tried Songes, but was put off some by the indole of the jasmine. I’ll have to revisit it again, now that you mention it, and give it another try. January 15, 2015 at 2:46pm Reply

      • Tijana: Sweet Redemption is my favourite! I agree, it’s one of the best out there… January 15, 2015 at 9:36pm Reply

  • AndreaR: Dear Elisa and Pat, Such good ideas from you and the BdJ readers. I especially like the lotion idea. I actually did that when I was first testing fragrances a few years ago and was afraid I’d be overwhelmed by fumes. That fear has long passed:-) Pat, I scored a FB of Caron’s Parfum Sacre at our local Goodwill “boutique” and can’t stay away from it. It’s perfect on these cold days. No resolutions because I am often tempted by the wonderful reviews from from Victoria et al. I then order from Surrender to Chance and happily spritz away. January 15, 2015 at 4:24pm Reply

    • Elisa: Good for you if you don’t need them! I think resolutions should alleviate guilt, not create it 🙂 January 15, 2015 at 4:27pm Reply

    • Patricia: Parfum Sacre is a treasure, isn’t it? But you needn’t spend a fortune to buy it! January 15, 2015 at 7:48pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: Swoon! You ran a picture of my all-time favorite now horribly obscure perfume, Ombre Rose! I adore that soft, powdery light and feminine scent, which by the way, contains no rose notes. I scoop it up whenever I see it- Neiman Marcus brought it back, briefly, a few years ago, then discontinued it again, damn them- and hoard it shamelessly. My perfume resolution is to wear more obscure, artisan perfumes, supporting solo practitioners like JoAnne Bassett, Opus Oils, Vinci & Rakos, the Purrfumery, etc. There are some new designer scents I enjoy, from Elie Saab, Carven, but I want to support perfumers who don’t have huge corporations and big advertising budgets behind them January 15, 2015 at 6:45pm Reply

    • Elisa: I didn’t know OR contained no rose. Does it mean pink shadow, then? January 15, 2015 at 7:48pm Reply

    • Joy: I also loved Ombre Rose. My bottle had a crystal stopper. It was so fun and elegant to dab on. I sometimes see it for sale at the Vermont Country Store website in their beauty list. I have resisted buying a bottle. It was such a soft, elegant fragrance. I wore it to work. January 15, 2015 at 7:50pm Reply

  • Joy: Even first using samples that I thought I loved, I made a couple of poor purchases for me. So, now I have developed a process. I am a process person so this fits for me. I now might try a vial, then move up to a small decant, or even get another vial. If I feel like I can’t live without it, I move up to a larger decant. Since following this process, I have only made one full bottle purchase which was Diptique’s L’Ombre dans L’eau. I love and enjoy it a lot, but the bottle is large. Hopefully I can use it up. I now have quite a few decants with a few more on my Wish List on the Surrender to Chance website. I like the ideas presented here today. They will help me eliminate before purchasing more. January 15, 2015 at 7:40pm Reply

    • Elisa: There is some kind of magic going on where the FB never smells as good as the sample! I think it’s partly that you don’t have the thrill of the chase on your side anymore. January 15, 2015 at 7:49pm Reply

      • Tijana: Lol, so true!!!! January 15, 2015 at 9:37pm Reply

        • angeldiva: TRUE! January 19, 2015 at 8:00pm Reply

    • Patricia: I like your process, Joy, and follow one similar when I don’t get carried away wanting whatever is latest and greatest!

      I bought a travel decant of L’Ombre last year. It was one that took me awhile to appreciate, but now I love it. January 15, 2015 at 7:54pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi Elisa and Patricia,

    Lynn Morgan mentioned the photo of Ombre Rose (an old favourite of mine, too) and now I’m going to thank you for the other photo, which has the three Grossmith fragrances, with Phul-Nana in the middle (and the beautiful old book).

    As I’ve written previously, I received a 5 ml bottle of Phul-Nana in about 1972, when I was a child, and it was about 40 years before I found more – a 15 ml bottle courtesy of eBay. Both bottles had the pretty picture of the dancing lady, and it is wonderful to see a photo of what looks to be an even older bottle of this fragrance that is special to me. (I haven’t tried the 2009 reissue.)

    Can you tell me anything about the bottles in the photo, e.g. how old they are or where they are from? My second bottle was made in South Africa, although I don’t know about the first one from my childhood. January 15, 2015 at 11:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: I took these photos, but I really don’t know much about the bottles or how old they are. But I imagine they’re the original versions. January 16, 2015 at 3:44am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thanks Victoria, I thought that the photos were probably yours! The bottles are beautiful. January 16, 2015 at 9:58am Reply

      • angeldiva: V- You are an amaziiiing photographer! I’d never be short on perfume $ – if I could shoot like that! 🙂
        P. January 19, 2015 at 8:02pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you! You’re too kind. 🙂 January 20, 2015 at 2:54am Reply

  • Austenfan: I loved the post a lot even though I don’t have any new year’s resolutions or perfume related wisdom.
    When I started this I went completely bonkers and acquired loads of bottles. I’ve since slowed down a lot, but every now and again I “need” a new bottle. I’ve become better about saving up for something I really want as well.
    All in all, I just go with my own flow in this, as it is nice to just not be prudent or thoughtful in some areas of my life. January 16, 2015 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Elisa: My trajectory has been similar! But I guess it makes sense that I feel like I *need* less since I actually have a lot more 🙂 January 16, 2015 at 3:22pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Well when you are about to purchase your umpteenth citrus cologne it has to be seriously good, doesn’t it. Mind you I stick to the motto that one can never own too many colognes so….. January 17, 2015 at 7:38am Reply

        • Patricia: Austenfan, that’s my motto, too. Love the citrus! January 17, 2015 at 10:50am Reply

  • Rickyrebarco: My resolution and I’m sticking to it was to stop blind buying cheaper scents and go ahead and buy the very few expensive fragrances that I really want. The cheaper ones that I kept randomly buying added up to more than enough $ last year to afford the ones I thought were too expensive. Lesson learned! Save for quality! January 16, 2015 at 9:36pm Reply

    • Patricia: Good one! I’d much rather have one quality item of anything than ten cheaper ones. January 17, 2015 at 10:51am Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hello again Elisa and Patricia,

    I have just realized what my perfume resolution should be for 2015. I have to keep a Bois de Jasmin notebook. I tend to zip through the articles and comments (because they are so interesting) without recording the details of perfumes or other products that I want to try. But I have now lost count of the number of times that I have had to go back and search through various articles and comments in order to find the name of that violet tea that Victoria mentioned, or a particular fragrance.

    I shall decorate a notebook in worthy fashion and I will open it before I even click into a Bois de Jasmin article. Also, before I write down the name of any item, I shall make a note of the name and date of the article, in case I want to go back later and check for new comments in particular threads (e.g. when people have asked for perfume recommendations). I expect to save a lot of time, and I shall end up with a better record of my own perfume journey! January 17, 2015 at 12:45am Reply

    • Karen: This is a really great idea, and I may have to borrow it! January 17, 2015 at 8:36am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thanks, Karen. I already have a notebook for perfume in general, but if I keep one especially for Bois de Jasmin, then I am more likely to be disciplined about always using it! January 19, 2015 at 7:16am Reply

    • Patricia: I keep a few 6 x 4 inch notepads for this purpose. This is a convenient size to tuck into a handbag. January 17, 2015 at 10:56am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Patricia,

        For many years I have used notebooks for interests such as clothing, jewellery, interior decoration and writing, and I generally use A4 books with the page holes already punched. That way, I can remove pages and transfer them to the relevant sections of large ring-binders at a later date. These notebooks never leave the house, though; I’d be too afraid of losing them! I keep a smaller, general purpose one in my handbag, and often the pages from this (bearing lipstick tester colours or fragrance price details etc.) get torn out and taped into my larger folders when I’m back at home.

        In recent years I have begun recording many things in Word documents on the computer, but I so love sitting down with my paper notebooks that I doubt whether I could ever give them up completely! January 19, 2015 at 7:14am Reply

    • angeldiva: Tourmaline,
      Go to the head of the class !!
      P. January 19, 2015 at 8:06pm Reply

  • Figuier: My resolution for this year is to streamline my FB collection to reflect my current tastes, by identifying those I wear relatively regularly and selling/gifting the rest. At the moment I’m at 16 or so, and I’d like to get back down to 8 ish.
    And I need to stop falling for really expensive perfumes, so the aim is to make more of an effort to explore mass market perfumes, which can be hard work given the volume but could save money in the long run…

    For experimenting & exploring, my sample collection will keep me happy. A year ago I was given a lovely little wooden box with small compartments, for jewellery I think, that has proved ideal for samples. As a result I’m using & enjoying them much more than I used to. January 18, 2015 at 6:22am Reply

    • Elisa: It’s funny how just changing your storage setup can have that effect. I like to occasionally rearrange my bottles so I “see” the ones that I’d been forgetting about. January 18, 2015 at 9:58am Reply

  • angeldiva: “Perfume Family Planning ?” LOL I’m a failure!!! LOL
    I recently received a compliment on the way I pack perfume for shipment. So, this has inspired me to eavappoproof my collection.
    *Using Glad Press ‘n Seal I sealed the base of all nozzles on all FB’s.
    *Dusted all boxes, and reinforced them with tape.
    *Placed all of the above in tupperware containers for bread loaves- ( If I wasn’t moving this year I would display these bottles .)
    * Decants and samples are in a tiny Tupperware container where they can stand up. Scented tubes and smaller items are added to this , and all is placed in an even bigger tupperware open container.
    I finished this process today, and am very impresses with myself…lol
    I no longer have to worry about these perfumes falling of a marble bust column during an earthquake.
    cont’d… January 19, 2015 at 8:17pm Reply

  • angeldiva: Re-approaching Perfume Behaviors:
    Well, I’m a talented bargain shopper- I was born with this gift, and share my methods freely!
    So, I have purchased some samples. This lead to a gift set of Wrappings- not so expensive. I have also given away samples that were purchased, and some that were free. Hello! I’ve tried and tried the Kenzo Jungle Elephant …it doesn’t LIKE me. LOL
    But, I have also made a successful blind buy- I’m going to review it below because there isn’t a review of it on Bdj.
    As for full bottles of expensive perfumes; I deal with this on a case by case basis. I had to have Ambre Sultan ( or… “campfire orgy”) lol
    As many of you know I created a partial bottle of Le Chev by buying samples, and a Annick Goutal empty bottle on ebay. That was pricier than I thought it would be, but I’m so HAPPY to have the bottle that I can spray. Samples can be expensive- but, they create an aura of thrift.
    Also, just ordered Kenzo Summer EDP 1.7 oz. for $25. US- unsniffed. I did all the research I could- then the right coupon arrived in my email.
    AND, Gucci Envy is back in stock at
    cont’d January 19, 2015 at 8:31pm Reply

  • angeldiva: I know- I’m a blog hog… 🙂

    Eau de Courreges **** 4 Stars – 2 Squeeks

    – 10 Squeeks are equal to One Star.
    Top: Petitgrain, Bergamot, Lime
    Heart: Mint, Absinthe, Lilly Of The Valley
    Base: Vetiver, Patchouli, Moss

    I experience this opening by smelling the petitgrain and lime. It’s exciting, like taking a safe leap into a clear mountain stream.
    I can smell the mint, and the bracing effect of vetiver. As this develops I wish I could isolate the patchouli and moss, but they are not as apparent to my nose. This EDT can also run the risk of lingering like lime aftershave- not an unpleasant effect.
    Here’s why I’m (kind of) oversharing:
    A unused sample bottle is 3 oz. and was about $20. US on This smells like many of the niche perfumes at Scent bar in beverly Hills.
    The bottle is so pretty, too. Tall and round with a large smooth silver disco ball on top. The juice is the color of agave tequila- clear light plant green.

    Peace January 19, 2015 at 8:51pm Reply

    • Karen: Thanks for posting this Angeldiva! I think you have figured out how to support your perfume habit in a really thrifty way! And I’m impressed with the care given to your bottles to stop evaporation, maybe I will do this as well. January 21, 2015 at 5:48am Reply

      • angeldiva: Thank-you, Karen!
        I read Victoria’s description of using perma seal here, on BdJ. I’ve just returned from a rare afternoon of …,” SNIFFFOOOORRAAAAAMMAA!!!”
        Wish there was a section of BdJ where I could report my exciting discoveries.
        P. January 21, 2015 at 6:07pm Reply

        • Victoria: You can always share them in our Scent Diaries, which are coming up soon! January 22, 2015 at 10:08am Reply

  • Sofie: Lovely reading your resolutions and the outcomes, Elisa and Patricia, and also reading everyone else’s.
    My resolution is to get more organised. I’m always all over the shop and basically just deciding if I like or don’t like a perfume. I’m slowly coming out of the first phase of wanting to smell and have everything and am enjoying the process a bit more. I’m slowly starting to recognise a few notes and I am trying to pinpoint what it is in a certain perfume that I like or don’t like. A note, the development, the feel? And now I want to try and make ‘to sniff’ lists based on that.
    Bottles only after thorough testing. I find that the perfumes I end up really liking are samples that get drained without me realising it, whereas samples I think I like at first end up at the back of the shelf. Very different to my mum for instance, who has impeccable taste in perfume and almost always buys in the shop straight away. I don’t know how she does it…
    Looking into sample sets. (But maybe that’s part of being more organised)
    Training my nose.
    Having fun with it all. January 21, 2015 at 8:37am Reply

    • Elisa: Oh, this happens to me too — something seems outrageously beautiful in the sample but turns out not to be very wearable. January 21, 2015 at 8:49pm Reply

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